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J Appl Genet. 2013 Aug;54(3):271-83. doi: 10.1007/s13353-013-0148-y. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Research progress in allele-specific expression and its regulatory mechanisms.

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Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Yaoyuan No. 1, Nanhu, Hongshan District, Wuhan, 430064, People's Republic of China.


Although the majority of genes are expressed equally from both alleles, some genes are differentially expressed. Organisms possess characteristics to preferentially express a particular allele under regulatory factors, which is termed allele-specific expression (ASE). It is one of the important genetic factors that lead to phenotypic variation and can be used to identify the variance of gene regulation factors. ASE indicates mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs function. Here, we review a broad survey of progress in ASE studies, and what this simple yet very effective approach can offer in functional genomics, and possible implications toward our better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of complex traits.

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